-Cheaper than the cheapest
Just a while ago, i walked into Keells, to buy some milk. Being dark, sweaty and sandy from the beach, and wearing a worn pair of beach shorts and a rust stained (don’t ask) t-shirt i was in no way expecting to be treated like royalty.
So i walk up to the counter (grab a deviously placed bar of chocolate while there) to find a dude loading 100g packs of virtually everything on to it. I mean, his basket was brimming with stuff. The counter girls were having a nice old chat and i’m thinking meh, this is gonna take a while. But just to try my luck i venture an ‘is the next counter open?’ in the general direction of the twittering sales girls and much to my surprise, one of them breaks off in mid chatter, smiles widely and says ‘of course sir! i’m sorry i didn’t notice you!’
So i’m feeling all important and go over to the counter where she continues to smile widely and generally give the impression of greatly appreciating my presence. She politely (and unnecessarily) asks me to place my things on the counter. She is smiling so widely that i almost have trouble making out what she is saying.
Anyway she swipes my carton of milk and my measly little bar of chocolate and puts them in a bag and directs that 100 watt smile at me again and says thank you! In the meanwhile, i am noticing those little service cards with smiley faces and sad faces on them that customers can use to indicate their feelings about the service received. So i decide to do her a good turn for al the smiling and making me feel important so i (who had never done this before) politely asked her, pointing at the smiley faced card, ‘can i swipe this?’
She looks at me. In the eyes. Her smile falters, then freezes at somewhere around 90 watts. ‘ Er, i’m sorry sir you can’t swipe that if you only buy two items’.
😦 – was pretty much my internal reaction. Of course, with much manliness i managed to conceal my emotions and grin and say ‘ah!’ awkwardly and swagger out the door and drive off. But absurdly, a part of me was hoping that no one had thought i was hitting on her.
Am i too cheap to appreciate good things damnit? I too, am a human being. I too feel. I too hurt when you prick me. I too, have loved. Keells might offer the cheapest prices but it also made me feel pretty cheap in the process.
But after a few milliseconds of such self derogatory thought, my trusty ego took over and did what t does best, found a way to trash Keells for its unforgivable act. It hardly makes sense to categorize the service given to customers by the amount they buy. In addition to making them feel cheap, like yours truly, they are also letting go of valuable feedback. Isn’t service offered simply service offered? I mean what if she had glared at me and treated me like dirt? Don’t i get to swipe the sad face to show how much i was hurt?